What I love about O'Rourke's novels is that, without fail, he always surprises me with his many twists and turns, which is exactly what happens in his latest new adult novel, Witch. This story centers around a 20-year-old female cop who's a bit wild. She likes to drink, and she likes sex. In other words, she makes a lot of bad decisions, and her father, a cop himself, has always looked down on her. Thus, Sydney's done the only thing she could think of to make him look at her differently. She became a cop, too. But, her wildness is still there, and on two instances, we see her very wild side with Michael Grayson and his kitchen table... and from here, Sydney's life goes downhill. Drinking and "playing" on the job leave her less than lucid when she gets behind the wheel, and tragedy strikes at Sydney's hand...
But, as with all O'Rourke novels, not everything is what it seems. Though it certainly looks that way, O'Rourke strings his readers along, filling us with many emotions in the wake of the horrible roadside massacre and its strange and eerie relation to a death that happened ten years in the past. And this is where O'Rourke's many twists and turns make themselves apparent as Sydney attempts to uncover the truth in order to live with what she's done.
Sydney is a great character. She is very flawed, but that's what makes her so real. Of course I don't condone her behaviors at the beginning of the story, but the knowledge of her wild side helps the reader really connect with her and the enormity of what she's done. We've all felt guilt (though hopefully not at the level Sydney does), and while we aren't the perpetrators in this novel, O'Rourke makes his readers really understand guilt and self-hatred. But, he also allows Sydney to grow and become a much more responsible adult, which is always the sign of a great author. Character growth is key in novels, and in this one, while we do a have the few needed flat characters, our main ones morph and change throughout the text. And with the many jarring twists and turns, and the paranormal aspect O'Rourke incorporates, well... this is a gem.
Now, truth be told, I'm not really a fan of the new adult genre. I don't care for bouts of sex and erotica in my stories, and I certainly don't seek them out, but with an author like Tim O'Rourke, I know the novel itself it going to be so good that I can handle being out of my comfort zone for a little while if it means I get to be astounded and amazed by his latest story. And I was. No matter what genre, I will always read O'Rourke's work because I know it's going to be fabulous (But this one is definitely for the 18+ crowd). Four stars.